Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Retirement home visit with the volunteers

I met Najat, Ken, Anoushka and Helen outside in the cold July wind.
Today was the day the volunteers presented the images they had designed for the mural, based on the picture research I had done with the residents (described in past blogs) identifying what kind of image they could all enjoy for their empty wall(s).
I was a little nervous as quite a few weeks have passed since my last visit, between people being on holiday and work commitments it's taken a while to assemble us all together.
We had a slightly awkward beginning as I introduced the volunteers to the group but things soon warmed up as we all sat and chatted over a cup of tea before getting down to the selection business. As soon as Anoushka put her drawings on the table quickly followed by ken and Najat and I saw the reactions on the residents faces I knew everything would be fine.

They were all delighted by what they saw, so delighted in fact they were comfortable enough to say what they preferred in this one and that one. What made it easier was the quality of the ideas and the obvious amount of thought that had gone into the design and the execution of the drawings presented. The images summed up brilliantly the choices that the residents had made from looking at the 100 or so images that we had viewed previously to make a kind of working brief.
They liked parts of all three images and because the volunteers had worked so closely to the residents preferred idea of the garden compressed into a foreground, it was possible for them to agree to work on a kind of amalgamation of their images for the mural.
It was clear that the residents liked the variety of birds in Ken's, the atmosphere and drawing in Najat's and the bright cheering calm and structure of Anoushka's. I want to put pictures of all of them up on the blog but only have a copy of Najat's at present, I'll add the others when they send them to me.

We have the dates to go ahead and the volunteers will begin painting next Thursday after we've had a fun afternoon choosing colours out at Seawhites on Wednesday.


Najat's initial design


Najat's final design

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